Kawah Putih is a crater lake situated on Mount Patuha, south of Bandung, Indonesia. The last time I visited Kawah Putih I was about seven years old and I had vivid memories of this huge, almost unreal landscape. So I was pretty keen to revisit it. Like most childhood memories, the lake seemed much smaller upon revisiting and it was also much more populated with tourists. Where we once had the entire lake to ourselves there were now bus loads of crowds and even a film crew. That's not to say it's not worth a visit though. The defining character of the lake is its striking greenish-blue colour. The name of the lake translates to "white crater" and the colour of the water varies depending on the sulphur concentration and temperature. Because of the acidic nature of the lake the surrounding rocks and sand are bleached white, at times creating an almost moonscape-ish appearance. As you probably already would have guessed, the sulphuric nature of the lake means any contact with the water is a huge no-no. If you ever find yourself in Bandung/West Java then a trip to Kawah Putih is definitely worth a look in.
My Gorman leopard tee matches the lake. How's that for coordination?
What: Kawah Putih
Where: Mount Patuha, about a two hour drive south of Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
Entry cost: IDR 15k per person (around AUD $1) although tourists sometimes get charged a slightly higher fee (I went with three Dutch girls and we were charged the same as our Indo friends so sometimes it's just luck of the draw) + IDR 150k if you want to drive your own vehicle up to the crater.
- If you're departing from Bandung, depending on traffic, the drive can be a looooong one. Leave early, pack snacks, take a break if need be (there are plenty of scenic places to stop off and explore along the way).
- Because of the sulphuric nature of the lake, the smell can be quite strong. Bring a mask or something to cover your face with in case the smell becomes too much.
- If you drive your vehicle up to the crater, make sure you hold onto your ticket/receipt as it will be checked upon exit.
- Alternatively you can leave your vehicle at the entry and take one of the allocated buses up to the crater at a cost of IDR 5k per person. However, the buses look quite rickety and the 5km drive up the mountain is quite winding so, personally, I would avoid this option.
- Being over 2000 metres above sea level, it can be quite cool at the top so pack a lightweight jacket just in case. That said, I went during the middle of the day and got slightly sunburnt. So you might want to pack some sunscreen too.
- Make a day of it and visit other popular tourist destinations in the area while you're at it (which I'll cover in upcoming travel posts).